Amazon has expanded the Routines feature of its Alexa voice system to Fire TV, giving users an enhanced level of control in their smart-home entertainment experience.
Routines, which were introduced in 2017, tie multiple actions to a single voice command. With the new setup, for example, Amazon FireTV users can say, “Alexa, I’m getting a snack” and Fire TV content will pause and smart lights can turn on. When they report, “Alexa, I’m back,” Alexa will respond, “OK – now back to your show,” turn the lights back off and resume programming.
Routines can be customized to include actions like powering on or off a TV, opening a specific app, or playing, pausing or resuming particular titles. Companion smart home devices can adjust lighting and the thermostat via Alexa.
A Morning Consult survey cited by Amazon found that 32% of U.S. respondents reported falling asleep to movies or TV shows more often in 2020 than they did last year. A Routine can be set up so that when the command “Alexa, time for bed” is spoken, the TV will be powered off and Alexa devices will announce, “Alright everyone – it’s time for bed.” Smart lights will start to dim and an alarm will be set for the next morning.
Entertainment Alexa Routines are available on all Fire TV devices including Fire TV Edition smart TVs and Fire TV Cube. Viewers using Fire TV Stick will need a set that supports Consumer Electronics Control in order to be able to set a Routine that powers on and off their TV.